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Funeral At the Movies & Ten Spot

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Album Review

A compilation of two early releases, Funeral at the Movies/Ten Spot is part of Shudder to Think's beginning. The band's sound is already surprisingly complex and original, performed by their first lineup (which would splinter after one more release). Funeral at the Movies includes the first version of the recurring "Red House" (later re-recorded for the Hit Liquor EP and 50,000 B.C.), a manic version of Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic," and the early fan favorite "Chocolate." The first half of the lengthy "I Blew Away/Ride That Sexy Horse" is a soaring R.E.M.-sounding rocker, while the second half is nothing more than feedback with talking over the noise. Parts of Ten Spot were recorded a full year prior to Funeral, but the sound and formula are strikingly similar. "About Three Dreams" contains some intricate bass and guitar work courtesy of Stuart Hill and Chris Matthews, while "Corner of My Eye" shows off Mike Russell's tribal drumming. And there are plenty of vocal heroics throughout, courtesy of the multi-talented Craig Wedren. The production and overall sound of the two albums aren't as textured as future releases would turn out to be, as the group opts for a more straightforward approach. However, this compilation was an important stepping stone for the future musical schizophrenia of Shudder to Think.


Formed: 1986 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Shudder to Think's hardcore punk background (courtesy of their affiliation with the D.C.-based label Dischord Records, also the home of Fugazi) doesn't give the best indication of their sound, since the group embraced pop influences and a skewed sense of songwriting as well. Formed in 1986, the band's initial lineup -- vocalist/guitarist Craig Wedren, guitarist Chris Matthews, bassist Stuart Hill, and drummer Mike Russell -- released two singles and one 1989 album (Curse, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses)...
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